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The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I'm doing now, man, for more years than I know. They played it like that in the shanties and in their juke joints, and nobody paid it no mind 'til I goosed it up. I got it from them. Down in Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now, and I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw - Elvis Presley, 1956, Last Train to Memphis

Author Topic: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"  (Read 3809 times)

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Offline frankie

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Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« on: October 06, 2004, 11:36:54 AM »
All the recent talk of covers/interpretation has my meager skull-cogs turning - what if were were all to do a cover of a particular song and post it on the Back Porch?  I'm thinking that we could agree on the same song, as that would give us all a common frame of reference, and would probably best allow us to appreciate the various liberties taken with the song. 

For better or worse, I think most of us are guitar players - what if we started with a song that either had no guitar at all or a negligible guitar part?  I'd prefer it if the song had words, although recasting the tune as an instrumental would be fair game, I suppose.

What about a song from the 'classic blues' canon - lika a Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith?  Might be fun to mess around with one of those - Blind Lemon and Charlie Patton seem to have had their way with a few songs from that bag!

A similar project was undertaken among members of rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic on more than one occasion, with interesting results.

Thoughts?

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2004, 12:28:46 PM »
Ramblin' Frank:

Hmm, interesting. I'm game.

Well, How 'bout Bessie Smiths's "Nobody Knows you When You're down and out", originally done with an jazz orchestra, Or Little Brother Mongomery's "No Special Rider Blues", a piano tune. Two just off the top of my head.

Later,
Alex

Offline Johnm

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2004, 01:08:15 PM »
Hi Frank,
This seems like a really neat idea to me, and a good way to generate some new ideas and see what people come up with.  I'm all ears.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2004, 05:48:23 PM »
Very interesting idea. I have no immediate suggestions other than I like the Ma Rainey/Bessie Smith idea in that it generally means people would have to come up with a guitar arrangement from (mostly) band or piano accompaniment. I was just listening to Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Yazoo) the other night thinking it would be cool to try to do something with some of these tunes. Don't Fish in My Sea, for example. Sounds like something Blake might adapt. I'd have to vote no on "Down and Out" though. Too common a cover. Don't you already play this, Alex? I seem to remember you doing some nice picking on this tune, but maybe I'm confused. If so, that would be cheatin', wouldn't it? ;)? >:D

Will think more about this. Could be great fun.

BTW, I don't know if we have this in the links yet (as moderator I should know this and will check) but http://www.redhotjazz.com is a very nice site for early jazz with lots of realaudio tracks of early stuff, including Ma and Bessie.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 09:58:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2004, 09:37:26 PM »
You're Devil. Mr. Bud.

Alex

Offline frankie

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004, 08:22:32 AM »
Don't Fish in My Sea

I haven't heard that one, and since RedHotJazz.com made the unfortunate decision to encode eveything in RealAudio format, it's unlikely that I'm gonna hear it any time soon.  Anyone got it and can post it as an mp3?

I'd have to vote no on "Down and Out" though. Too common a cover.

It *is* a pretty common cover, especially if you took the song and approached it as is - what if you broke up some of the verses and re-imagined it as an eight-bar blues?  Or a one chord thing?  Doing it as it is could vertainly yield all kinds of good results, though.  You could be as sophisticated as you wanted, or as low-down...

Don't you already play this, Alex? I seem to remember you doing some nice picking on this tune, but maybe I'm confused. If so, that would be cheatin', wouldn't it?

I guess that would technically be cheating, but I think cheating is fair game in this context.  In a way, "Down and Out" presents an interesting challenge just because it has been done so often (and so well).  What a unique opportunity to truly mangle a classic!

A couple of Bessie Smith tunes I've been thinking of are Rocking Chair Blues and Jail-House Blues.  Pretty straightforward stuff, and the lyrics have found their way into quite a few recordings that we would all certainly be familiar to most (if not all) of us.  I'm hot and cold about both of them though, and am warming up to the idea of trying "Down and Out", especially when I think about how it might sound if Henry Townsend did it *his* way!

Offline Richard

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 01:18:39 PM »
If you want to do it properly ;) I have a few Bessie Smith 78s so you could get the correct crackle aspect as well :P
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2004, 06:18:07 PM »
Don't Fish in My Sea

I haven't heard that one, and since RedHotJazz.com made the unfortunate decision to encode eveything in RealAudio format, it's unlikely that I'm gonna hear it any time soon.? Anyone got it and can post it as an mp3?

Hear ya go. It's piano accompaniment. Relatively jazzy on further listening. Does sound to me like something Blake would adapt. Or Charlie Patton in Devil Sent the Rain mode :)...

edited to add the damned attachment (I'm a bit of a spazz tonight)

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 09:59:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2004, 09:48:23 PM »
Hey Ramblin' Frank:

I've (at present) got lots of time on my hands, so I'm working on a Lightnin' Hopkins-Calvin Frazer type version of Down and Out as well as a Frank Stokes style one. The latter is tough as there are not enough words in the verses to suite Frank's rapid-fire style.

Its actually been quite fun.

But you pick a song for us to get after. Your the boss.

Alex

Offline frankie

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2004, 12:27:11 PM »
After listening to Don't Fish In My Sea, I think I kinda like it.? I'm game for trying it if you are.

Let's hold off posting any versions for maybe two weeks to give anyone who might want to try it a chance to get some ideas together without having other stuff to compare it to...? I'll put it in the calendar!

Here's another thought - start a thread in Lyrics and Licks with the lyrics/mp3 of the song...? does that sound like a good idea?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 10:01:18 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2004, 01:28:15 PM »
After listening to Don't Fish In My Sea, I think I kinda like it.? I'm game for trying it if you are.

Let's hold off posting any versions for maybe two weeks to give anyone who might want to try it a chance to get some ideas together without having other stuff to compare it to...? I'll put it in the calendar!

I think I'll need more than 2 weeks! :D

Quote
Here's another thought - start a thread in Lyrics and Licks with the lyrics/mp3 of the song...? does that sound like a good idea?


Sure, sounds good to me.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 10:03:37 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: Covers of "Don't Fish In My Sea"
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2004, 09:08:50 PM »
I think I'll need more than 2 weeks! :D

There doesn't have to be any real deadline - maybe the participating weenies can just communicate now & then about what kind of progress they're making.  It'd be nice to hold off posting any tunes until a few people have stuff ready so they can be posted at the same time.  That would be cool...

 


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